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What Are The Streaming Sports Implications Of The Warner, Discovery Merger?

The deal would make Discovery the second-largest media entity in the United States.

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Courtesy: Apple Insider

This week’s announcement of the WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. merger could have ripple effects for sports streaming. AT&T is spinning off its entire media arm and selling it to Discovery in an industry-shaking move. The deal won’t go through until next year but analysts believe the merger could reshape sports streaming

AT&T pulled the trigger on the deal to relieve debt and generate roughly $43 billion. The agreement includes TurnerSports assets.

“This deal has profound implications on the sports industry,” Bruin Capital founder George Pyne said on Twitter. “The new entity can invest in adding more global sports rights to its NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA Tour and NCAA [Division I Men’s Basketball] Tournament content and create a must-have sports streaming service.”

The merger likely means an eventual combination of Discovery+ and HBO Max into one app for all of Discovery’s subscribers. The question is whether WarnerMedia’s sports-media holdings are going to move to a Discovery-branded over-the-top service. Our neighbors across the pond are bullish on this path. Discovery is the owner of Eurosport, the continent’s exclusive broadcaster of the Olympics.

“With the news that AT&T and Discovery are to merge, the landscape for sports media rights and sports broadcasting in the largest media rights market on earth is changing significantly,” said Conrad Wiacek, head of sports analysis at the London-based data and analytics firm Global data. “With sports content at the forefront of the OTT revolution, Discovery and AT&T merging now will create a new ecosystem for sports, such as esports, to gain a foothold in the US.”

The board of directors for both companies have approved the deal, creating the second-largest media company in the country behind Disney. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav and AT&T chief John Stankey didn’t go into much detail about sports programming in the announcement, but did say sports is one of the “true differentiators of the future.”

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Rex Chapman Joining CNN+ To Host Weekly Show

The show will feature “intimate conversations with athletes, entertainers and everyday heroes as Chapman looks for the silver lining beyond today’s toughest headlines.”

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CNN+

Former NBA star and current Twitter sensation Rex Chapman is expanding his media footprint to CNN’s new streaming service.

On Tuesday, CNN+ announced that Chapman will host a weekly show. He joins a growing roster of talent that includes former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, NPR host Audie Cornish, and MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt, along with several CNN personalities like Anderson Cooper and Kate Bolduan.

In its official announcement, CNN described Chapman’s upcoming program as “intimate conversations with athletes, entertainers and everyday heroes as Chapman looks for the silver lining beyond today’s toughest headlines.”

Chapman has a compelling personal story to share, as well, one that could inform this new show. Various injuries sustained during his NBA career led to an opioid addiction that required several visits to drug rehab and an eventual arrest for shoplifting.

Yet he’s reinvented himself as a major Twitter presence with an account that has more than one million followers and regularly shares humorous videos, historical information, stories of people making a difference in culture and, of course, some basketball content.

Following a 12-year NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards (then the Bullets), Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns, Chapman got into broadcasting as an analyst for University of Kentucky basketball, NBA TV, and TNT.

More recently, Chapman has hosted a basketball podcast with actor Josh Hopkins and an interview podcast talking with athletes about their encounters with the law. He’s also hosted a show on Adult Swim titled Block or Charge, based on his popular series of tweets with video clips of various collisions, accidents, and mishaps.

According to CNN+, Chapman’s show will be part of the service’s catalog at launch. An exact premiere date for CNN+ hasn’t yet been announced, though plans are for the service to debut “in the first quarter of 2022.” So, sometime between now and April, presumably.

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Dwayne Johnson Reveals His $30 Million T Rex Skull On Manningcast

“Due to the worldwide web, viewers were able to discover Stan the T-Rex was sold for over $30 million in 2020.”

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One of the most recognizable and famous men on the planet joined Peyton and Eli on Monday Night Football’s “ManningCast” last night.  Dwayne “The Rock Johnson” was a fantastic guest, especially considering the game itself was not particularly interesting.  The Rams essentially dominated the game with the Cardinals not being able to get out of their own way at times.

However, some viewers were much more interested in the background of Johnson’s screen than they were with the game.  It looked as though “The Rock” had his own rock, that was actually a large dinosaur skull.

In time Johnson was asked about it. He told the Manning brothers the skull was named Stan and it is the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever to be excavated by a paleontologist.

If anyone were to have a house ornament like this it makes sense that Johnson is the one to have it casually sitting behind him.  Thanks to the worldwide web, viewers were able to discover Stan the T-Rex was sold for over $30 million in 2020. Per National Geographic:

“Now, an auctioneer’s hammer has thrown Stan’s future into question, with the dinosaur bones sold off to the highest—and, so far, anonymous—bidder, stoking fear among experts that this beloved T. rex may be lost to science.

On October 6, the London-based auction house Christie’s sold the T. rex for a record $31.8 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a fossil.”

It looks like all of that Fast and Furious money can get you some pretty cool stuff.

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Sports TV News

Carton & Roberts: Could Mike Mayock’s Failure Hurt Louis Riddick?

“The firing of Mayock brings a plethora of questions that were discussed on WFAN’s Carton & Roberts.”

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USA Today

Mike Mayock was fired by the Las Vegas Raiders from his general manager position on Monday.  Mayock spent just three seasons with the Raiders, but it was certainly an eventful ride.

Besides the issues with Jon Gruden and his e-mails that ensued this season, Mayock himself also made some poor decisions when it came to top draft picks.  The Raiders ended up cutting two of Mayock’s first round picks, Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette, as a result of their actions off the field.

The firing of Mayock brings a plethora of questions that were discussed on WFAN’s Carton & Roberts

What next step does Mayock make?  Could he try to go back to NFL Network, or would he take another job as an executive?

Carton & Roberts pointed out that Mayock may have a little “stink” on him if he were to try and go back to television as a draft expert seeing as he essentially failed at that position for an NFL team. 

While the stink may wear off if Mayock were to lay low for a while, it could also make it difficult for other television personalities to be hired by NFL front offices.  Louis Riddick, of Monday Night Football, has apparently shown interest in front office positions.  Craig Carton hypothetically asked if Mayock’s failure have a ripple effect on tv personalites in the same way Urban Meyer’s failure could have a ripple effect on NFL teams hiring college coaches?

Other than trying to go back to television, it is also possible Mayock goes for a lower-level position in the NFL.  It will be interesting to see how the NFL’s teams and networks respond to Mayock’s availability.

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